state of the union: krista farrell style

It’s time.  I gotta spew out all that is happening in the life of these farrell five… starting with:

I got two wisdom teeth pulled this week.  ARG.  It was that or a root canal in one of them, and I’d rather be knocked out so I went with the yanking.  Surprisingly it hasn’t been as painful of a recovery as I thought- but I’d rather be laying on a beach in the Caribbean.

Maya got out of her crib this morning.  Yes- I believe it’s insane that an 18 month old child can crawl out of their crib… my boys couldn’t even do it at three years old?!  She’s crazy.

I finally caved and ordered Birkenstocks.  I’ve wanted them for awhile…they remind me of my middle school days but I also believe I can rock em, old school style.  And I love them.

I successfully completed two full weeks of strict Whole30 before the wisdom teeth debacle… but I plan to jump back on the wagon next week.  It was going so well.

Our basement is finally seeing the light at the end of its tunnel.  And PHEW, my paint color choices actually turned out like I hoped they would.  I LOVE THEM.  Hopefully electric, hvac and plumbing will all be finished this week and then final inspections and carpet after that.  Can hardly believe it could be done so soon.

I have found a new favorite.  TheBouqs is a company that delivers fresh flowers simply and without all the extra costs.  It’s amazing.  I feel like I’m repeating myself here- so maybe I have written about this before.  But it’s awesome!  Try it out.

I cannot wait for Josiah’s school to be done.  I can tell I’m really gonna love summertimes.  He took this whole last week off, and it was glorious- minus the teeth yanking part.

We are gearing up for a big trip to IKEA- finally gonna purchase beds for our boys and many many other things for our basement.  I just wish there was someone who we could bring home with us to put everything together…then it would be perfect.

Ok, I gotta go paint a flamingo.

Repost: she chose life.

**in honor of mothers day…this is a repost that I wrote five years ago, about our first adoption experience and Josiah’s birth mom…**

Even though I’ve wanted to adopt for a long time, and the home study process and seemingly never-ending application process appeared to be overwhelming drawn out (ha! in actuality our 6 month start-to-finish process was nothing) I was not prepared for the birth mom experience.
When we started I remember thinking, “I don’t want to talk to the birth mom or anything” because in my naiveity I thought it would somehow take away from my attachment.  Fears crept in and I believed that my future child would reject me as his mother if I kept in touch with his birth mom.  Instead of trusting in the One who creates life, I had decided to develop my own reality that would seemingly “protect” me and my child.
Nothing could have been further from the truth…and even from the very first phone call shared between our birth mom and me; it was apparent- God loves this woman and wanted us to share in His compassion.  My heart went out to the 20 year old girl, who shared that her whole pregnancy had been stressful because of her family’s lack of support about her decision to give her baby up for adoption.  As she stated on her application, the only other option she considered was abortion and in the end “her faith” is what led her to carry this baby into the world- despite knowing how hard it would be to give him up, she chose life…she chose love.
After receiving the shocking “she’s in labor” call (3 weeks early)- I had 20 hours of driving to contemplate the situation and try to put myself in our birth mom’s shoes, if even just for a small glimpse.  God gave me such love for this woman I’d never met and when we finally walked into the hospital to meet her, I felt so connected that I couldn’t help but care about her.  She is a quiet, strong woman and I could tell from the moment I walked in that she was confident in her decision.  Immediately holding out her baby boy to place him in my arms was her simple yet resounding, “I trust you” and I was overwhelmed.
From the moment our child entered this world, he was wanted.  This was not a situation where his mom didn’t care- in fact, it was just the opposite.  She cared so much and knew, because of many reasons, that she could not provide for this baby well on her own.  Within the adoption world, this scenario is much more common- and something that I was not necessarily prepared for.  I hadn’t realized the reality behind many adoptions…the sacrifice and strength it takes to give your child up.
On the last day, after Josiah’s birth mom signed his papers and gave away her child, she asked to see us one last time.  With tears in her eyes, she stared up at us and simply said “Please tell him that I love him, and I did this because I love him.  Will you make sure he knows who I am, and that he knows that I care about him?”  As tear drops fell across my face, I nodded over and over…”of course, of course, we’ll tell him, we honor you, we are forever grateful to you…thank you…”  Then she opened her arms for a hug and we held her- so grateful for her decision, so unaware of anything else.
After praying for her and blessing her one more time…we walked out her hospital room door and the only thing I kept saying was “she’s amazing, isn’t she amazing?”  Her strength and beauty overwhelmed me and I couldn’t help but shake my head in disbelief as our son was brought to us moments later.  She chose us to love her little boy for the rest of his days.  She chose us to be his mom and dad.
She chose life.

five years ago…

Adoption has been on my mind a lot lately…and no, we aren’t gearing up quite yet for number four.  I just keep seeing families with babies or dreams of babies and it makes my heart leap.  Birth in any circumstance in such a beautiful phenomenon and I’m in awe each time I see a new face brought into this world.

My oldest son is turning five in a month and it is knocking the wind out of me.  I remember like it was yesterday getting the call that we had been chosen by his birth mom… feeling a combination of freak out, total peace, and pure joy.  They told me he was due in a month, but not even one week after the first phone call she went into labor and our sweet Josiah was born.

We didn’t know if it was a boy or girl until 6 hours after he arrived.  We drove all night from Kansas City to Jacksonville, Fl on pure adrenaline…I literally drove 15 hours straight.  We were going to be parents.  A precious woman was deciding her son’s path as we drove those 22 hours full of hope and anxiety.  I still cannot believe she chose us.

Etched in my memory is the phone call we received around 7am, while still on the road.  “It’s a boy!  He’s here!”  She asked if we had a name, and we gave the one that God had spoken into Bart’s ear three years before…Josiah would be our first born son.  We tore open a Bible and started reading all the parts about Josiah as we barreled down the highway, trying desperately not to speed.  Tears of joy fell down my face, over and over, as I let myself imagine for the first time, what it would be like to have a son.

Little did I know what an incredible little boy we were given.  I could not have asked for a more precious and beautiful soul to care for as I began my journey of motherhood.  Even though I’d worked with kids forever, it was rough out of the starting gate.  I stumbled and fell and cried selfish woes…but my son smiled through it all.

I love to love my son.  He is one of a kind.*

*saving the rest of my gushing for his birthday post next month.

be the reason

There have been so many moments over the last few years where I’ve thought we are crazy…that God was crazy, for giving us three children in three years.  I can recall many freak-outs and I know I have repressed countless other moments-of-insanity throughout my short tenure as a mother.

But this morning I watched in awe as my three children laughed and played together and each interaction brought me closer to tears.  I am just so grateful.  A lot of miracles stand behind each Farrell baby entering our home, and to see the goodness that abounds as they bond as siblings is beautiful…I am sure there are many more fitting words to describe this, but the simple beauty struck me this morning.

Recently I’ve been watching as other families begin the exciting journey of adoption and as they ask for prayer and funds and help I get excited.  The prayer is easy- I have known many of the same fears and doubt, felt a lot of the same hope and excitement.  I love the giving too, and it would be easier if I had my dedicated “adoption” fund set up… it’s my dream and I believe with God’s help it will happen.  Being able to partner with God’s heart towards families is such an incredible gift and it boggles my mind why it seems so foreign to so many.  I smile when I think about all the generous people in our lives who gave towards our children’s adoptions…and they have an inheritance in our beautiful kids.  They get to reap the blessing from God simply because they gave.  We spend money on so many useless things- (I am very guilty of this!) and one of the biggest reasons people don’t adopt is because the finances are scary.

This is funny- I began this post with the idea that I would write about the joy of having three young children, but obviously my mind has drifted.  I do remember when people would say- ‘oh it’ll be so great when they are older- built in playmates’ and I’d smile and nod…stuck in my never ending diaper-feeding-napping schedules.  But now I see it.  It’s true.  They always have someone to play with…to laugh with…to comfort…to challenge… it’s beautiful.

My grandfather passed away this week.  I never really knew him, as he lived in Alaska and we traveled there only twice in my childhood.  People talk about legacys a lot when death enters the picture and its always something I have wondered about.  My extended family carries varied feelings towards my grandpa but I am so grateful that Bart and I were recipients of his overwhelming generosity five years ago.  His legacy lives on in our children.  As our adoption journey became eminent we sent out letters to let everyone know our plans and ask for support.  It was scary because we knew we’d offend some with our ask (and we did) but I will never forget the first response we received in the mail.

It was the most shocking one we ever got…a letter accompanied with a $10,000 check from a man I barely knew, my grandfather.  God used this gesture to cement our adoption plans and provide all the hope we needed to continue.  What an incredible gift that meant so much more than the dollar signs attached. There was still many more funds to be raised but I still remember where I was standing when I opened that letter and the feeling of relief that washed over me.   I often use this story to spur others on as they stare down the insane costs of adoption- it’s often the most unlikely of givers.  God can use whoever He wants, however He wants to…and he does, over and over again.  I am so thankful for my grandpa’s legacy, he chose to be part of the reason we were able to adopt.

I want to be the reason…

to dress a baby girl

I started this post a million days ago and just never got excited enough to complete it.  But- I am determined to now.  I get asked often where I shop for Myty and it’s always such a random answer…I don’t really like things that come in “outfits” usually but rather enjoy the challenge of putting pieces together.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes she comes down looking like a weirdo.  Ha!  I am including my favorite places to shop for my little Maya, who for reference is 17 months old.  This is not in order of importance, rather just as my brain brings ’em.

NextDirect is a store I found shortly before Maya was born.  It’s in UK but ships here for free if you spend over $40 which I do every time.  I have found a lot of staple wardrobe pieces here- like leggings, shirts, tights, simple dresses… They are great deals in my opinion, for great quality and uniqueness too- I have never met someone who knew about Next, which is not always important, but it does make it fun to dress my daughter in something no one else is wearing.

Hanna Andersson is pretty well-known and also great quality clothing.  I have always loved their pajamas, for my boys and now Maya.  Every once in a while I like the clothing, but mostly pjs are my jam here.  These are pricey, but they have great sales and their clothing lasts forever.

LaikynLeigh is a new small business I found recently.  Maya now has a gorgeous handmade knit cowl and an adorably sweet bonnet from this shop.  The owner is super friendly and the quality of her products is wonderful.

Baby Bling headbands are my absolute favorite.  These are not frilly- there is a little bow but they can be worn with it showing or hidden.  They are made of a nylon sort of material and are stretchy so they stay on really well.  I buy them at Nordstrom, but I’m sure they have their own website too.

And speaking of Nordstrom I will admit that I do shop for my kids there sometimes.  It can be very expensive, so I stick to sales unless it’s a special occasion.  I love that they carry a lot of brands that I like and it’s always free shipping/free returns for shopping online.  Also- Nordstrom Rack (if you have one nearby) is amazing and Hautelook– a Nordstrom flash-sale site is great too.

Back to headbands and hair stuff…Etsy is of course, my favorite go-to.  I’ve gotten headbands from SophiaCo and SadieSkyBoutique and for tiny new babies my favorite shops are The Brightside Studio and LittleBowPop.  My favorite hair clips come from my sister (etsy shop coming soon) and also EveryDotandTiddle and Masterpieces of Fun Art.

My most favorite place to buy Maya clothing is Zara and although I don’t buy a lot from there, every single piece I’ve ever ordered has been my favorite.  Seriously.  Adorable.  All of it.  They have sales a couple times a year too and I am sure I’ll be stocking up as she gets older.  I’ve never been to a Zara store, but someday I will…and will probably faint from the beautifulness.

April Cornell is a random throw in here, and though I’ve only stumbled upon this line last year in a cute store along the shore (which is mostly known for linens), I fell in LOVE with the dresses.  Maya’s first birthday dress was from there- and I love so many of their beautiful fabrics.

Gap is an old standby that I still find adorable things at…my boys pretty much lived in Gap clothing in the early years, so I sometimes feel the need to go beyond but I usually end up back on their website scouring sales.  I like basics there mostly- pants, shirts, plain dresses.

Carters and Oshkosh are really good for fleece zip up pajamas and sometimes I find a cute something else…but I find that their clothing tends to be too matchy-matchy for me (I am weird!) and too many words always.

Janie and Jack swimsuits are my downfall.  When Maya was born we got a huge box of clothing from this ridiculously overpriced store and I couldn’t wait to exchange a few of the items…and I discovered baby girl swimsuits there. O.MY.GOSH.  I die.

Cotton Bottom Designs is a new small shop I found recently and while it’s pricey, it has the most beautiful handmade jumpers and head wraps.  I finally bought one (the sell out super quick) and I am in love.

H & M is more of a favorite for boys…but I think as Maya grows up I will like it more in the girl department.  Their cardigan selection is epic though, can’t believe I just described a cardi section as epic but oh well.

Ok. I could keep going I am sure, but this has been in my “to finish” pile for way too long…so I am drawing this to a close.  Happy shopping!!!

celery

Every time I sit down to write a little in this space, something yanks me away.  I am CONSUMED in my brain with decorating ideas for our basement…which is coming along- insulation is this week and then DRY WALL.  I am not sure I ever thought I’d capitalize that word on my blog ever, but it has come to this.  DRY WALL makes me excited. Plumbing and electric…notsomuch.

Also on my brain is Easter dresses.  I will confess…I have bought 3 and returned all but one.  One was adorable but too curtain-y, the second was perfect except it looked odd on maya’s little body, and the third one is unique and bright and looks awesome on my little munchkin.  Unfortunately, it threw the whole “coordinating” sibling outfit idea right out the window which I decided was fine since they rarely sit still for an actual picture together anyway- alas.  Yes, the very important thing about Easter.  HA.

I just sat here for 3 minutes solid because I got distracted by…basement dreams. I know, it’s pathetic.  Seriously.

Ok. So, Maya is finally crawling out of her teeth pain haze.  Seriously the girl was depressed with feeling the constant ache, I swear.  Bart kept lamenting that he missed his sweet fun daughter and I had to agree- it was getting old.  But today- she emerged!!!  She’s back!  Molars are in, let the fun begin.

Spring is supposedly here, but every time I leave my house I feel bitter cold.  What. the. heck?  I can’t handle it much longer.  I’m not usually one to care much about coldness, bc I would rather be cold than hot…but seriously, I need to return to my first love- the beach.  There was a tease- 3 weeks ago…alas.

Currently two of three kiddos are in bed for the night but Regan is up because I let him nap too long.  Guess what he is ravenously eating?  Celery.  Yes, I kid you not.  Plain celery stalks.  He has already consumed ten full sticks. (?what’s the term)

Okay, I have come to this…talking about celery.  I gotta get out of here.  I am so sorry for the blatant lack of creativity flowing through this blog lately.  I’ll be back…when the basement is finished.

speechless

As I sit in the dark by the light of one lone candle flame, I am overwhelmed.  God’s vehicle into my heart tonight was a book that I bought many months ago, written by a dear woman I got to know briefly in Kansas City.  I knew bits and pieces of her journey and thus had deemed the book one-i-will-read-when-i-am-ready…and tonight for some reason, I heard a whisper.  He said read it now.

Two hours passed and a steady stream of beautiful tears came along…it was as if God himself was sitting with me, urging me to keep going, to remember and believe who He truly is and how much He loves abundantly.  I’m not sure why I’m writing at the moment, because He has left me speechless.

I feel so loved.  

It’s powerful to read another’s testimony of how they’ve walked through valleys and mountains with Jesus…it led me straight to His feet…in awe of who He is and how He loves.

I want to live my life with this feeling.  The feeling of being loved no matter what, by the God of the universe…my heavenly Father, my faithful friend, my constant cheerleader.  This is the gift He promised- His everlasting Love.  I know feelings can be fleeting at times, but some feelings are meant to root into our soul and plant.  I could not follow Jesus with my whole heart without feeling Him, and I don’t think He wants me to blindly follow either.  He cares about my frame, about my will, my emotions, my dreams, my quirks, my fears…He knows it all and STILL HE LOVES ME LIKE THIS.

He knows my name.

He is writing my story and cares about each day that I wake up to.  What a gift to behold… His love.  Thank you Sara for sharing His beauty so tangibly, and thank you Jesus, for everything.

 

*Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet by Sara Hagerty*